I live in Seattle, and recently had a couple conversations with well-known West Coast biotech executives about what they see happening in Boston.
“Clearly, Boston has taken the leadership role” among U.S. biotech clusters, said Mitch Gold, the former CEO of Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN), the cancer immunotherapy pioneer. A few days ago, a San Diego biotech leader, Kleanthis Xanthopoulos of Regulus Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RGLS), said almost exactly the same thing.
Even from 3,000 miles away, the dynamism coming out of the Boston biotech hub the past few years has been hard to overlook. I feel it every time I travel to Boston to dig up news and features. And I’m looking forward to exploring this phenomenon at close range during the next big Xconomy life sciences event on April 4, titled “Boston Biotech Seizes the Momentum.”
This event, at Biogen Idec’s Building 8 in Cambridge MA, will feature a terrific lineup of speakers who will talk about their experience building companies and developing innovative products in the Boston cluster. The program will consist of a series of 1-on-1, 20-minute interviews that I’ll conduct with each of the speakers to flesh out their insights on what’s gone right, what’s missing, and what needs to happen next for Boston to make the most of this historic opportunity.
We’ve added a couple new names to the lineup of speakers since I announced the event last month. Here’s the agenda:
12:30 pm. Registration and networking
1:30 pm. Welcoming remarks, Biogen Idec & Xconomy.
1:35 pm. Al Sandrock, Chief Medical Officer, Biogen Idec
1:55 pm. Deborah Dunsire, CEO, Millennium/Takeda
2:15 pm. Mike Pellini, CEO, Foundation Medicine
2:35 pm. Jeff Leiden, CEO, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
3 pm: Networking break
3:30 pm. Bob Langer, David H. Koch Institute Professor, MIT
3:50 pm. David Schenkein, CEO, Agios Pharmaceuticals
4:10 pm. Bruce Booth, Partner, Atlas Venture
4:30 pm. Mara Aspinall, CEO, Roche’s Ventana Medical Systems
4:50 pm. Bob Tepper, Partner, Third Rock Ventures
5:10 pm. Christoph Westphal, CEO, Verastem
5:30 pm. Networking reception
6:30 pm End.
Tickets have been going fast for this event, and at this point it looks like there’s a good chance it will sell out in advance. Today is the last day to get Early Bird discount tickets, so it’s advisable to buy tickets while they’re still available.
As always, I’m looking forward to this trip East to pick up some new ideas and to mingle with lots of Xconomy readers I rarely get to meet in person. See you there at Biogen Idec on April 4.